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Print Services - Pandemic Planning

Overview

In a pandemic situation you would expect that most of us would be off site and that printing wouldn't be used very much. However, assuming there is a skeleton crew on board someone should try to keep the printing services ship shape. There are two primary print servers, one for staff and postgrads, and one for the undergraduate teaching labs. These have DNS aliases - infcups and atkrbcups, where the krb stands for kerberised. In addition some admin staff particularly on MDP machines route their printing through the IS print service, which is sometimes better at dealing with Microsoft based outputs. The E-Financials system also routes directly from an IS server completely by-passing our print servers.

Staff and Postgraduate Printing (AT Offices and Forum)

The main server for the Forum and AT Offices is infcups.inf.ed.ac.uk. This is also the router between the printer wire and various services outside such as the IS print servers and the Xerox supplies system. It is also the mail gateway for scan to email and the DHCP server for the printer wire. If this server goes down then a lot can break. If it needs to be replaced then all those services need to run somewhere else.

Undergraduate Printing (Student Labs)

The main server for Undergraduate teaching labs is atkrbcups.inf.ed.ac.uk. This then passes job control to the IS print-charging system which queues the jobs and charges students for usage. Monitoring atkrbcups is straightforward but we'll need to refresh the knowledge of how to monitor jobs at the far end in IS. See https://wiki.inf.ed.ac.uk/DICE/PcounterPrinting

E-Financials and MDP printing

E-Financials has two different ways of printing information. The basic printing from web pages just works the way this would normally, but the printing of Purchase Orders requires set-up by the user, and in the case of setting up a new printer liaison with IS/FIS. Any difficulties here are usually in the setup stages and printer selection. Printers that are E-financial printers have firewall holes so that the IS print server can access them.

Scanning

All scanning is now scan to email. We don't support scanning to file anymore. This requires that all MFDs know to send mail to the gateway/router machine currently infcups. In the event that Infcups is down it should be possible to get the backup print server

Supplies and Support

Access to the Xerox Fleet Management Portal is available at https://office.services.xerox.com/FMP/ Username and Password available on request from Services Unit. This service unfortunately has a bad habit of expiring passwords if unused. In a pandemic situation someone should check we have access and keep it live. This can be used to order supplies directly if the system for automatic delivery has become disrupted. All Xerox MFDs have firewall holes so that the can communicate with the xeroxserver.

Supplies for the non-xerox printers are co-ordinated by support and the technicians, see https://wiki.inf.ed.ac.uk/DICE/PrinterSupplies

Some Technical details

The header files controlling the infcups and atkrbcups are cups-server.h and cups-kerborised-server.h The component is lcfg-cups. There is a backup print server, borges.inf.ed.ac.uk, which sits mostly idle but gets used for testing etc. It could be used to stand in for one or other of the main print servers, although it is only currently configured as a non-kerberos server. The printer network is wire-N Nearly all of the Xeroxes have their network configs set manually rather than by DHCP because they were frequently losing their configurations and then were unable to post scans to users. This means that if infcups was moved then they'd need to be reset to the new smtp server manually.

-- GordonReid - 08 Oct 2014

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Topic revision: r2 - 10 Oct 2014 - 12:42:05 - GordonReid
 
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